Posts Tagged ‘Review’

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Review – Shadowrun: Hack & Slash

5 January, 2023

Shadowrun Hack & SlashShadowrun: Hack & Slash is a sourcebook, specifically a “Core Matrix Rulebook” for the Sixth World Edition of Shadowrun covering, well, the Matrix and computer system in general as well as how to mess with them. It contains much useful information and the Matrix and those who use it and some of those who try and defend it from hackers. Players of hackers and, especially, technomancers will want this book and GM should have it on their to acquire at some point list as well.

Shadowrun: Hack & Slash, is the Core Matrix Rulebook for Shadowrun, Sixth World Edition, providing a look at the wonderful world of computers, telecommunications and hacking, as well as the more mystical parts of the Matrix for technomancers and their friends.

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Review – The Sea in World History: Exploration, Travel, and Trade, Vol 1

28 September, 2022

The BookFinally finished The Sea in World History: Exploration, Travel, and Trade, Vol 1 (Ancient Egypt through the First Global Age), Stephen K. Stein, Editor.  it was well worth the effort to go through but one of the great things is that the information is divided into easy section:

Each section covers a discrete historical period and starts off with a good-sized overview of what was happening in that period of history as regards to sea travel, trade, and maritime technology.  Then there are lots of small sections by experts on narrowly focused subjects such as specific ship types, famous navigators, particular regions, and so on.

So you can just dip into the book, pull out the information you need for what you are working on and move on.  Or you can read sections and pull out things that inspire you for world-building.

Such as: the Orang Laut or “sea people” who used to live in family groups aboard longboats in the ocean off Burma and Thailand, where they made their living as fisherfolk and gather other resources from the sea (including pearls) and trade.  They were also often involved in piracy and sometimes worked for local states providing naval forces and acting as coast guards.  While they still exist as a cultural group their lives as travelers of the seas were destroyed by the rise of the nation-states who forced them to settle ashore.  Still what an interesting model for a society to encounter.

Highly recommended for people who like to use the real world as a model for their game worlds.  The only downside is the book is an academic work and thus exceedingly expensive but hopefully your local University library has a copy (which is how I got the copy that I read).

Notes: Some thoughts I had along the way to the review here.

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Review – Shadowrun: Sixth World Companion

23 May, 2022

Shadowrun: Sixth World Companion, Shadowrun: Sixth World Companionis a long-awaited book, with the rules for alternate character building systems, meta variants and infected characters, optional and clarified rules, changelings, new qualities and more. It is a needed book but it could have been better with some odd missteps along the way. Even more so than most core books, Games Masters will probably want this just for the optional rules, which address many of the concerns that people have had with the new edition of the rules and players will want it for the wealth of new character options.

Shadowrun: Sixth World Companion is a core character book. It is designed to provide new general options for character building and development. Note this is a long review and you can just take the summary above or if you feel you are interested in my detailed critique, read on.

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Review – Shadowrun: Shadow Stock – Lofwyr’s Legions

19 April, 2022

Shadowrun: Shadow Stock – Lofwyr’s Legions is a book of NPCs and introduces the drake, part dragons, Lofwyr's Legionsas an optional metatype. It is interesting and useful for a GM. But the drake write up has some very serious balance issues that should make any GM reluctant to allow them for player characters without considerable revision.

Shadowrun: Shadow Stock – Lofwyr’s Legions is one of the Shadow Stock pdfs for Shadowrun, providing both interesting non-player characters and new character options, in this case NPCs associated with the dragon Lofwyr, his corporation Saeder-Krupp and rules for drakes, part dragons.

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Review – Shadowrun: Emerald City

28 March, 2022

SR-ECShadowrun: Emerald City is a setting book for the Sixth World Edition of Shadowrun covering that most Shadowrun of all cities, Seattle. If you are running a Seattle-based campaign, obviously this book is going to be extremely useful while not indispensable but close. For non-seattle-based campaigns, it is a fun read and gives you some information of things that will have rippling effects on the rest of the Sixth World. However, the lack of district maps and an index do badly compromise its usability during a game.

Shadowrun: Emerald City is the Setting Book for Shadowrun’s hometown, the Metroplex of Seattle. Designed to link into the new city edition of the core and providing a detailed look at the city and its situation following the city’s declaration of independence.

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Review – Shadowrun: Double Clutch

24 February, 2022

SR-DCShadowrun: Double Clutch is a sourcebook, specifically a “Core Rigger Rulebook” for the Sixth World Edition of Shadowrun covering vehicles and more things that can be done with them. This book is an essential addition to a GM’s collection for seeing the state of play for vehicles in the Sixth World and the rules for chases and repairing and modifying vehicles. Obviously, anyone playing a rigger or other vehicle specialist will want access to this book but GM should be careful about letting people go crazy with vehicle modifications.

Shadowrun: Double Clutch, is the Core Rigger Rulebook for Shadowrun, Sixth World Edition, providing a look at the current state of play for vehicle and drone technologies along with expanded rules for piloting vehicles and using drones.

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Short Reviews – Archetypes, Backgrounds and New Races for D&D 5E from Cat Tale Press

31 July, 2021

CatTalePressLogoCat Tale Press has been producing support materials for Dungeons & Dragons, 5E, much of which is Pay What You Want.  These reviews look at eight of them, six providing new archetypes, one new backgrounds and the last, new races.  They are good but could be better, so suggestions for things to improve are included.

Starting with the archetypes which are mostly four pages: cover, one page of description and two of OGL.  In all cases they could have used more context for the archetype such as suggestions for where they might fir into a game world and what sort of culture would inspire them.  Also, and this is very common for such materials, is a lack of support material such as a new spell, magic item, place or even a legend to inspire adventure would make them some much more interesting and easier to fit into a campaign.

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Review – Shadowrun: Power Plays

25 June, 2021

Shadowrun: Power Plays is a sourcebook, specifically a “Runners Resource Book” for the Sixth World Edition of Shadowrun covering the Big Ten Megacorporations who, let’s face it, run the Sixth World in a very real sense. While tagged as a Runner Resource, it strikes me as more a book for Games Masters who want to know what is going on at the higher levels so that they can decide what filters down to the level of hiring runners for. Overall, an interesting read with some excellent chapters and lots of inspiration for games.

Shadowrun: Power Plays, is a Runner Resource Book for Shadowrun, Sixth World Edition, providing a look at what is going on in the corporate world, as the megacorps are the primary villains in the world, knowing what is happening with them is important.

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Review – Shadowrun: Street Wyrd

3 May, 2021

Shadowrun: Street Wyrd is the long awaited Core Magic Book for the new edition of Shadowrun, and it is going to be a required book for Shadowrun games masters as it provides so many new resources in spells, adept powers, metamagic, magical groups and so much more. And players will be happy with new ways to improve their characters.

Shadowrun: Street Wyrd, is the Core Magic Book for Shadowrun, Sixth World Edition, expanding the available options for magic in all of its wonderful forms.

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Review – Shadowrun: Slip Streams

30 September, 2020

Slip StreamsShadowrun: Slip Streams is very much a book for Games Masters, lots of information, lots of adventure seeds, all expanding on the effects that magic is having on the world. If the magic side of Shadowrun story is your jam, this is the book for you. Otherwise, it is an interesting read and there are no lack of adventure ideas that it throws off. For players, the in game information is a fun read and the new character option is intriguing but not for all campaigns, talk with your GM first.

Shadowrun: Slip Streams, is a Plot Sourcebook for Shadowrun, Sixth World Edition, expanding on the magical situation across the world but with a focus on events affecting North America.

As is expected, it begins with a brief introduction and a glossary of terms related to astral space, this is very handy and important to what follows. Then the requisite fiction section before the meat of the product begins.

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